Most human beings survive on two primary things — the need to satiate hunger and excrete filth. For most of us who have seen a settled civilisation, which is at the helm of modernisation, we can nurture hunger of varied kinds; be it food, comforts, entertainment, art, or even knowledge. We are even vocal enough to spit out any resentment and filth bubbling inside our system. But there is another side to the coin: There is an India with nothing; no basic amenities to live a dignified life.
Possibly the best parameter to gauge the pulse of a nation is by the way the masses choose to accept their cultural variedness. You cannot isolate yourself from your roots, and hence can possible never have an unbiased approach to anything you see – perception is an essential by-product of comprehension. Thus, the only real way you would know of any other culture or social group than your own is through the stories that you see, hear and pass on. Movies and televised shows score in this regard, because of the audio-visual nature of the medium. For every four movies in the genre of mindless entertainment, there is place for rare gems that rock you to the core.
Be it a Valu, Deool, or Fandry set in rural Maharashtra or the likes of Autograph or the more-intense Kanchivaram from Tamil cinema, or Rudali, Manthan, Dor, even Swades (these I have seen, and remember), makes one realise that there are several countries living within this vast expanse of earth we call our motherland. There are pockets of progressive civilisations well into the process of development, thanks to a strong academic base. Then there is a connected India, which owes its existence to the internet revolution, but it isn’t too well-read, because it is laid back in its attitude. Somewhere in between, there is the ignorant India, which continues to exist with bare-minimum resources and is well satisfied in its own means to an end. Finally, there is an ignored India, which is bound by the most regressive laws of civilisation, which doesn’t know of the world outside its boundaries, and the world returns the favour.
As we stand at the brink of yet another opportunity to exercise our franchise, many of us don’t really bother to realise the full impact of not just the right, but also the duty it entails. This election is not just about bringing to power the right candidate that will stand true to the promised development of your land of dreams, but also someone who will bring progressiveness to the entire nation. When we talk of voting for change, we need a person who not just completes that divide of development, bridges the gap of knowledge, but also realises and bothers to bring those who are disregarded and neglected to the fore — outside of their own shadows. After all, it is they who not just need it, but also truly deserve a voice.